My son’s decided not to return to pursue his engineering degree at university this semester. He’d like to work; put his humanitarianism and people skills to some purpose.
He’s a gamer, a comic, a body builder and trainer, a sensitive guy, a devout friend. He’s vastly fastidious. He’s spending this summer earning money for a car, and the freedom any nineteen year old who’s been in the uber-academic trenches for years might require by now.
We’ve discussed the Peace Corps. The 300+ Corps volunteers in Western African nations have just been withdrawn due to the Eboli Virus crisis there, not to mention the political instability in many Peace Corps nations. We’ve discussed the military, as war is breaking out in areas that indicate he’d see active duty. We’ve discussed the police force, as we observe the growing role of the police as a gestapo force minding the arbitrary boundaries one set of political legislators erects to defend themselves against “all others”. We’ve discussed journalism, but they get captured and killed everyday, too.
Meanwhile, I count my steps out like rosary beads metronomed to the stations of the cross, praying for the global victims; worrying for the survivors. I pace the floors, concerned that either of my children, due to their great idealism, may end up in shrouds in the rooms of the house where we once danced, exuberant.
Wait on tables, I advised him and his sister. You want some time in the humanitarian trenches, make scads of money, and only suffer an infrequent scalding, with amazing job mobility? Wait on tables. They’ll have plenty of heads-up time to evacuate the bunker in a cultural crisis, and the music is damned good all the way through.
Maybe they’ll hear my prayers.